johnlink ranks YOU’RE NEXT (2011)

This was a movie made in 2011. It debuted as an indie horror film and was picked up for wide release by Lionsgate. It bounced around a variety of other venues before Lionsgate dropped it in theaters in 2013. This usually isn’t a great sign for a horror film. On the other hand, the fact that it saw theaters at all after being an indie production is a positive.


I watched YOU’RE NEXT (2011) on 5.20.14. It was my first viewing of the film.

A family convenes at the newly purchased home of their patriarch and matriarch. There are adult brothers, their adult sister, and the significant others of each of these siblings. That puts ten people in this house as potential victims for a trio of baddies masked in creepy animal masks. The film opens with a silly slaughter filled with a young girl going outside topless to check on a noise before her much older “lover” is targeted.

Normally, I only take notes during bad movies. I tend to get sucked into a good film and don’t find myself jotting things down as much. I have a LOT of notes from the first half of YOU’RE NEXT. Here is a sampling.

“Opening is silly. Old guy. Young boobs. Silly. Not scary. Intro to all these people feels unnatural. Music is too ominous for what we are hearing in the dialogue. Something finally happens upstairs and it doesn’t work as well because the music oversold the bit.”

“Guy says to ‘wait outside, I’ll go upstairs and check it out’. Cliche that doesn’t pay off. Slightly smart move but offset because this isn’t adding up to anything I care about.”

“Dialogue way oversells the relationship between the brothers. That is the result of watching every bad brotherly moment in every movie which lacks any kind of character nuance.”

“Character of Zee is not a character. Doesn’t like boyfriend’s mom. Smokes cigarettes. Looks goth. Bet she is supposed to be a bad guy. Wait. Is anyone in this movie supposed to be likable?!!?”


“Wire trick is clever. Good thing the bad guys predicted exactly who was going to run out of the house, how tall they were, which door they would pick, and that they would be running full speed.”

“Person under the bed. Good thing they knew exactly which bed was going to be used in this gigantic house.”

“They are still in the house dumbass. Stop taking your time.”

“Where is the urgency?!?” (Note: this one proves to have a logical explanation).

“This is a cheap slasher dressed up as a smart movie.”

“Holy shit! When she goes to town on the first killer: BOOM! That is a movie!”


That last one came in at at roughly forty or fifty minutes in. Then… I wrote almost no notes except to say “The last act of this movie redeems it all.” and “They picked some kickin’ 80s theme music for when this thing gets going.”

Because, see, this is a movie which makes you roll your eyes and suffer in the worst way through the first half. Then something happens. The lead female turns out to be the girlfriend of one of the brothers. She is an Aussie named Erin (Sharni Vinson). And. She. Is. Awesome.

She can totally carry a movie, and she nails this thing. Her character is given a background to explain WHY she is so badass, but I don’t really need one. This movie is so filled with lucky coincidence through the first half that it doesn’t even matter why she is so awesome.

Rarely does the second half of a movie redeem the first half. Usually, the second half of a movie can’t live up to an awesome premise. In the case of YOU’RE NEXT, you ultimately get rewarded for sticking through it. This is a brutally violent movie. It may not be for everyone. But this works in terms of the survivalist horror, slasher, or (tangentially) the torture porn genre. Fans of Ti West are even treated to a cameo!

I hated the last moment, to be honest. I dislike the fact that horror movies need to go for one last scare or jump which usually undermines the rest of this story. In YOU’RE NEXT, that final moment is not totally egregious and is at least set up. Still. I wish this movie ended forty five seconds sooner than it did.

All in all… I don’t know. You have to like the genre. Maybe the poor dialogue of the first half and the silliness of the first half doesn’t bother everyone. But the second half kills. I immediately felt like I needed to watch this again to see if I was being to hard on it to start out. In the mean time… if this is your genre, go for it.



The first bonus is for the film picking it up half way through. The movie really improves. The second bonus is for the theme song which permeates the second half of the film. Plus, giving this two bonus points allows me to be honest about the FILM and WRITING scores which suffer because the first half of the movie is so bad.

5+ 8+6+5+2=26

FINAL SCORE: 6.5 out of 10

~ by johnlink00 on May 21, 2014.

3 Responses to “johnlink ranks YOU’RE NEXT (2011)”

  1. Good review John. Doesn’t do anything new for the home-invasion thriller, except just add in a whole bunch of fun.

  2. Nice one, John! I loved this movie!

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